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The Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education By: Savannah Stutevoss

College is an amazing experience where you get to meet lifelong friends, create amazing memories and maybe meet your significant other.

However, these are just a few aspects of receiving a higher education. College is where you go to supposedly find yourself, and finally answer that question you have been hearing since you were a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” On average, a college student will change their major three times, and approximately 40 percent of students will graduate in four years.

Perhaps an education from a liberal arts university is the key to helping students find their true passion. Dr. Victoria Spangler, associate professor of theatre, artistic director and department head of the Hardin-Simmons University Theatre Department has many thoughts on the benefits of attending a liberal arts university. Dr. Spangler gives a lecture during the Freshman Stampede on some of these positive aspects of a liberal arts education. To summarize, she provided three main benefits to reflect on.

First, a liberal arts education appeals greatly to prospective employers. In today’s competitive world. Dr. Spangler believes a wide range of skills are needed in order to be successful at a career. A liberal arts education enhances a variety of skills.

“Employers don’t want something specific. What are you going to do with a theater major if you’re not going to act?” Dr. Spangler said. “In a liberal arts university, you get so many other things. Employers know you’ve also had writing, math, and other courses. You finish your degree well rounded.”

Secondly, a liberal arts education allows a student to discover their passion. Dr. Spangler remembers a student she had who originally wanted to go into nursing, but realized she loved theater and history and was able to get her dream job in Boston teaching students about our nation’s history. That’s what college is for, opening your eyes to all things…” Dr. Spangler said. “These four years are not compartmentalized so you don't come out of school saying, ‘my major is all I can do.’”

Lastly, with a liberal arts education, you are formed into a productive and contributing member of society. This is the most essential aspect according to Dr. Spangler.

“In order to be a good member of society you need to know where you came from, politics, math and science, public speaking skills, a love for the arts… We want our students to be better consumers and producers of arts and knowledge,” Dr. Spangler said. “All things we ask our students are for a reason.”

Your college experience is important, and although the years spent at a university are full of fun experiences and adventures, college is a short trip to the rest of your life as a working adult. With a liberal arts education, you are receiving not only the tools to equip you for the rest of your life, but also a greater appreciation for living. We are so grateful for the liberal arts education offered here at Hardin-Simmons, and excited for the outcomes of every single one of our students.


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